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NIKE HELPS NBA PLAYERS (AND NFL TEAMS?) BEND LEAGUE RULES
Published September 19, 1994
AIRFARE AND EXPENSES COVERED: Nike is sending Anfernee Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning and three other players to the Far East to play in exhibition games that are not approved by the NBA. Jason Kidd is joining the squad for its last stop in Japan. Jerome Kersey said he was being fined $20,000 by his team for going on the trip. Nike spokesperson Keith Peters declined to say if any other players were being penalized, but that the company would pick up the tab for any fines received (AP/SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 9/17). SWEETENING THE POT FOR DEION? During Fox's "NFL Sunday," discussions of Deion Sanders' 49ers contract, Howie Long said Sanders "is going to make a mountain of money off the field": "Nike, it is rumored, will be paying him an additional $2 to $3 million because he is playing with the 49ers versus the small market Atlanta Falcons" ("NFL Sunday," Fox, 9/18). Tom Friend notes Nike reportedly "kicked in over" $1M to Sanders for signing with a big-market team (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19).